By Rick Fullerton | Bio
In church this weekend, I made a public announcement about the International Day of Climate Action on October 24, a global initiative to develop grassroots support for substantial agreement when world leaders meet in Copenhagen this December. At stake is nothing less than the future of life on planet earth. As of this morning, there were more than 3,500 events planned in a total of 161 countries. For more information or to join a group or announce your event, check out
By Jim Selman | BioI am not an economist and I don’t know what to think about all the ‘unprecedented’ claims coming from the joint communiqué of the G-20 summit. I hope it works. But, hey, a trillion isn’t what it used to be! As a guy who has been around enough to be a little bit wary of political claims of bright horizons, I wonder if the world’s leaders are really united to correct past excesses and grease the financial system enough to restore confidence in the future.
After all, isn’t that what this is really about? I don’t mean just the repairing all the economic machinery, but ordinary people’s confidence in the future? Can our kids look forward to having children of their own with some expectation that they can raise them in a manner that is reasonably close to how they were raised? If we believe the pundits, the prospects are grim. President Obama is doing his usual eloquent job of trying to be straight with the electorate
By Jim Selman | BioToday is ‘back to work’ for most of us. We’ve eaten too much, survived another holiday season and are now preparing for what’s next. This year is different for many throughout the world. The economy, climate, war and poverty are continuing sources of suffering. I hear more and more people expressing their fears about the future and predictions that 2009 will be ‘very tough’. Unfortunately, if enough people have a pessimistic view of their future, then as I have said on this blog many times, we are creating a self-fulfilling reality. We will get what we resist and fear unless and until enough people create a critical mass to create a different, unpredictable future.
This isn’t just about being pessimistic or optimistic, which are mostly just positive or negative predictions for most people. This is about the capacity we all have to create (not predict) the future. Creating the future is the essence of leadership and the source of possibilities throughout human history. It should be obvious that we are creating our current ‘reality’ all the time anyway. Our actions today are causing tomorrow, just as our actions yesterday created today.
By Jim Selman | BioI have said many times that I view one of the biggest threats to our way of life (and at least the medium-term future) is widespread and institutionalized =&0=&. Resignation is a mood that most of us have experienced and many are experiencing today. It is a worldview devoid of possibility. It is the perspective that ‘nothing can be done’ and ‘nothing will really make a difference’. It is giving up, but in a way that justifies and rationalizes that giving up is the rational and reasonable thing to do. The benefit of resignation is that we can stop thinking or struggling.
There is a difference between true ‘acceptance of those things I cannot change’ and resignation. Resignation is not a choice; it is a succumbing to the circumstances and buying into a ‘no possibility’ scenario. I was sitting next to a man last week from Mexico discussing the Mexican government’s campaign against drug cartels. He assured me that all the effort and all the lives that have been lost are meaningless and that corruption and organized crime are a permanent
By Jim Selman | BioI read a nice piece called Welcoming the Approach of the Golden Years by Gary Westover talking about his growing awareness that he has a choice about how he grows older. He can follow the path of his parents and others and deteriorate each year until finally succumbing to dementia or worse. Or he realizes he can see that it is his attitudes and expectations that create the future he is living into and he can look forward to a continually expanding and rewarding experience of living. How we age is a choice and a commitment, it is not a given. He is realizing the difference between being an elder and becoming elderly.
We have added a third distinction called ‘eldering’. Some people love the term and others say it reminds them of the fact that they are getting ‘old’ and with that thought comes the fear of being elderly. This is why there is so much resistance to growing old and people trying to hang onto their youth just a little longer. Eldering is our term for the question of ‘how to’ live to the fullest after retirement and as we enter the last third of life. Eldering is wisdom
By Jim Selman | BioOne more day and we’ll know for sure who will be our President. If we accept the polls, it looks like a slam-dunk for Obama. (I already voted for him.) But even should there be a miracle for McCain, the nation faces a moment of truth unlike any time that I can recall’—at least not since the end of the Civil War. I am talking about how we get beyond the LEFT versus RIGHT schism that has divided and fragmented our nation and made a mockery of what we used to say in the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ when we declared ourselves to be “One Nation Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All”.
I am betting that Obama is sincere in his commitment to this and that he will have the leadership skills to inspire and unite a divided nation. This is a lot more than just ‘working across the aisle’—although that might be a good start. Rather, it means confronting the institutionalized identities that political entrepreneurs have used to garner power. We must stop labeling each other as ‘black Americans’, ‘Hispanic Americans’ ‘Gay Americans’ and on and on.
I don’t know if you saw Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, but it was extraordinary. While the skeptics might say she was stumping for the vice presidency or simply doing the expected, the fact is that she is a pro and spoke with dignity and, in my judgment, was sincere and even more magnanimous that the occasion required. She recounted the Democratic values and the distinction between liberal and conservative politics today. More than I recall at any time during her campaign, she spoke
Well, it looks like Hillary is bowing out—actually more like accepting the fact that she can’t win. Polls in that league are realists above all else. I assume we’ll get the inside dope on whatever backroom deals were made in the weeks ahead. Now the healing and reunification of the Democratic Party must begin.
However, before we relegate Hillary to the political graveyard, I want us to stop and reflect on what an incredible process this has been and acknowledge her for her strength and courage.
My dear friend Joanne Kellert. Ph.D., and Jack Gilbert, Ed. D., have launched a one-day, in-house workshop called Ethical Wisdom: The Heart of Leadership, Influence and Power. It is designed to support health care leaders and professionals who are on a quest to improve patient safety, quality of care, patient and employee satisfaction, and the financial health of their organizations. They promise a day full of insights and ways to strengthen the ethical health of your organization and an